tv Bloomberg Business Week Bloomberg April 6, 2019 3:00am-4:00am EDT
♪ kelly: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." jason: we are joining you from bloomberg's headquarters in new york. kelly: economists have had a hard time forecasting recessions. jason: and japan schools the world on how it a wealthy nation can maintain its superpower status. kelly: and the greatest delivery empire on earth. about ae are talking
chinese company that has made it cheaper to order in them to go out and has reshaped life in china cities. kelly: we talked to our editor about the story. first 40-year-old founder started trying to build social , you know, china for friend star, a facebook like. something that looked an awful lot like twitter. after blowing through the early stakes for friends and family and that suffering crackdowns from the government, decided to try and do something a little less controversial. he spent heavily thanks to early --estment by alibaba alibaba's jack ma to take the lead in what was known for some time as the 100 groupon war. he starts his company,
get the investment from jack ma, and that he starts putting up some of his businesses or where he wants to do business in sections -- extensions. the customer money, next and alibaba says we are. -- are not interested. >> at a certain point, where meitaun was the biggest-ish layer in the field was, look, we will give you more money to stretch out, but you have to agree to basically merged with alibaba. this was coming at a point where the groupon model just was not going to be sustainable. they were essentially going to run into the same thing they had in previous startups, that is just not going to grow. they really got into this delivery business, and that's what accelerates. >> yeah, astrazeneca -- meitaun
alone delivers 20 million or so items a day through about 600,000 delivery agents across 3000 cities. kelly: 20 million a day. jason: but that in context for us versus grubhub. >> grubhub, which is the biggest player in a comparable market, delivering about 500,000. jason: 502,000 versus 20 million. kelly: that a staggering. staggering. so they decided not to roll into alibaba. >> correct, observing a rival with help and funding from tencent. after that, alibaba said that we will try to spend you into oblivion and by the markets for ourselves. kelly: these's a price war goin,
which is wonderful for consumers. that it is cheaper to get something delivered them to actually gold to the checkout counter. >> absolutely. to the order of 40 or 80% cheaper. jason: is that sustainable? are these guys going to drive themselves into oblivion? >> it is a real gamble. alibaba has plenty of cash to also a company entering its third decade with public market investors to appease. that speaks to the gamble, launching his betting alibaba has about one more year they can do this. i find that anybody going up against alibaba has got to have a lot of nerve. ,ell us about this character he's got a role model written about the story, and it's jeff bezos.
>> yeah, as you alluded, he has really doubled down on the basis reinvestment model -- bezos reinvestment model, meaning that succeeding means you have money to expand into an adjacent business. they have gotten better at food delivery, they taken over china's movie ticket market. i want to makeg sure people understand, because i did not comprehend it, is the market opportunity here because of the chinese population. u.s. has 10 cities with one million or more people, china has been hundred 56 -- has 156. can they get to a sizable chunk of this market? >> it seems reasonable to believe. that is the other real reason alibaba has to spend them into the ground.
many on who you ask, a conservative estimate is that this market will basically be about $800 billion by 2023. a lot of that growth will come at the expense of conventional e-commerce businesses, especially like alibaba. kelly: it is interesting this company is not profitable, which is not surprising given the pricing wars. >> true. . part of the problem is this war of subsidies and this bezos model of trying to jump into new businesses. kelly: whenever i read a story about this, i just think about how much is being done on your phone in china. we do a lot of delivery, but only when you are in large cities. jason: i thought you meant a side hustle i did not know about. kelly: but it is just fascinating how much further ahead they are than the united states. >> this is a hugely problem for
people in cities, and as you is because of some relatively unique advantages, but also disadvantages. it is more appealing to order in all the time when the traffic is horrible right outside your door. up, one of india's best-known doctors is critic model for ultra low cost health care. kelly: plus, white a breakthrough postpartum depression drugs still faces high hurdles. jason: this is "bloomberg businessweek."
and bloomberg.com. kelly: or find us online. jason: india is pursuing the most ambitious public health effort in history. minister hopes to give basic coverage to 500 million of india's poorest. kelly: and ambitious program, and to make all of this possible , the founder of the world's cheapest hospital chain will have to cut costs further and that keep on cutting. the doctor is a pretty remarkable individual. trained as a and cardiac surgeon in london, where he noticed that they could do a lot more heart surgeries in a day than anyone can do anywhere in india. she decided i would go back to india and see if i can at least replicate that. once you get that at a hospital in calcutta, he's on pushing himself more. various departments he was hired
and around india until he eventually came up with the idea of what if we treat cardiac surgery like an assembly line? try to break it down into have onlyt tasks that the most complicated tasks done by the most experienced and highly paid surgeon. everyone else, from junior surgeons to highly trained nurses can handle all of the less competent tasks. -- complicated tasks. he found that the cost of surgery went down a lot, so he found his hospital in bangalore has replicated the model to produce what we call the cheapest hospital in the world. kelly: i love this, and let me throw out some numbers. the surgeries he does cost a lot less money, genetically. surgery for head and neck cancer start at $700. a heart transplant about 11,000.
if you are doing that in united states, we're talking $100,000 or more. a huge difference. a heartutely, transplant, full cost, could be $1 million when you take into account everything. kelly: and he makes a profit. again, you talk about the scaling or upscaling or task shifting. talk to us about how this process works, give us an example. >> i actually got to watch a few surgeries done in the hospital. and basically, what they do is they break up the tasks into more and less complex. ensuring that the most complex task, for instance, in a heart transplant, that might be moving the patient's heart out and putting the new one in. that is only done by the person who can only do that. that is the most experienced, senior surgeon. he comes in solely for that part of the operation. but every other part of the operation is done by other, less
skilled, less expensive people. whether that be a junior surgeon , and one of the surgeries i went to see was his son, the junior surgeon. but also to be highly trained nurses who have a lot more training and experience than a usual nurse. they can handle more complex tasks, but it still costs less than a certain. -- surgeon. kelly: what are the mortality rates? >> the numbers that have been released and looked at by various academics doing case studies actually show that is mortality rates are at least the same, if not better, for select surgeries, then u.s. counterparts. particularly in the surgeries that they have developed a lot of proficiency in. the ones where the assembly line model has been perfected.
surgeons from the doctor himself to various other employees have developed high levels of proficiency by doing literally hundreds of surgeries in the course of just a year. the survival rates can actually be better. kelly: he is now under pressure to even reduces costs more. ,his has to do with modicare the health care being put in place. can he do it? >> the doctor thinks he can. he is trying his best to apply the same principles that got his costs this far, once of scale, increasing surgeon proficiency, of breaking down tasks to lower labor costs. he is pushing that to its limit, but at the same time, he is also looking at more high tech solutions, namely data. to get all of that data and then
analyze it. but hang on, why is this procedure costing more than that procedure? why are complications more likely to come up in this ward them that? why is this doctor more likely to use a pacemaker than this other doctor? and investigate those and see where they can improve care, make it more efficient. kelly: in the business section, the world's first ever postpartum pression drug was just approved by the fda. jason: but even though the drug has been hailed as a breakthrough and may be able to help one in nine new mothers, the question remains will itself -- will it sell? is an exciting development from the perspective that there has not been a drug developed specifically to treat these women. in the scientific community, experts cause a huge breakthrough, phenomenal in the sense that it works quickly. those are the positives, and
they are extraordinary positives , but the big challenge here is the drug has to circumvent the u.s. medical system, which is not currently set up to give it. that is because it is a 2.5 day long infusion. drugoman who needs this needs vehicle to enter a hospital or certified medical facility and step aside from her daysrn for two and a half to get the treatment. that is one of the primary obstacles in terms of the medical system being available and there being bentz in the right words and hospitals -- warts -- wards and hospitals. kelly: what is the current treatment? >> you would get standard antidepressant therapy, which takes weeks for work -- to work, and for many, does not work at all. this process can take a while to find the exact right drug. that is currently what happens.
from the economic perspective, it is not very expensive. the drugs are old, their patented in a very cheap. -- they are patented, very cheap. this drug is $34,000, which is another hurdle. but the women who really need this need this right away, so that is the aspect the company is playing off of. , these womens fair cannot try several therapies if they are in a severe case of postpartum depression. but the medical system has to rise to the occasion. companies,insurance they are kind of holding off right now? >> typically what happens is you drug is approved, you negotiate with insurers, and we cannot see until several months into launch how well the uptick is going. i don't even know if insurance will be the big hurdle, i think
the infrastructure is a bigger problem. units within hospitals to treat patients with this condition have basically been disappearing. whether or not a woman goes to a beingor delivery ward tied up for two and half days, not ideal from a hospital perspective. what they need to do is roll out these new centers of places where women can get this drug. they talk about things like maybe a rehabilitation center ivf and to treat a patient. but they need to consult with psychiatrist, so there's just a lot of things that need to be fundamentally changed in order for this to be feasible. kelly: up next, how brexit is frustrating potential homebuyers in amsterdam. jason: and how wall street is masking the cost of climate change. kelly: this is "bloomberg businessweek."
jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." kelly: you can listen to us on the radio on sirius xm channel 119, and on a.m. 1130 in new york, 106.1 in boston, 99.1 f.m. in washington, d.c. jason: bloomberg business app. -- a.m. 960 in the bay area, london on dab digital, and through the bloomberg business app. let's go to economics. amsterdam homebuyers are complaining about brexit. an influx ofis jobs from london, but also wealthy newcomers driving up home prices. we got more from our after -- editor. >> they are one of the quote unquote lucky countries getting an influx of jobs because of companies leaving the u.k.. but answered them, is not very amsterdam, like many european countries, is not big,
and already has a housing deficit. we have some new residents coming in and it is beating up a housing market that has been up 80% over the last four years. kelly: that's what's great about the story, you talk about different individuals looking for homes. >> it's a horror story. kelly: exactly right. >> some places are giving people a timeslot of 10 minutes, saying if you want to look at his apartment you have to shop at this time and if you don't make a timeslot you lose out. we talked to one person who want to make an offer and was told she had 90 other people ahead of her. kelly: my god. from what i understand, you have to raise the amount you want to spend. >> she was told that she should , sorry, 20%y 20,000 more than the asking price. doing what is amsterdam
to encourage either builders, developers? >> the city is committed to improving about 7500 permits for new units every year. that's through 2025, but it is not catch up to this 40,000 deficit. reserved forrd are low income housing, they call it social housing. some of these newcomers would not even qualify. and then they are thinking of other measures. what are they really want to do is tamed down speculation. kelly: prices have gone up dramatically. >> 80% in four years. isething they have suggested that he would not be able to buy a newly built unit and turnaround and rented. you would have to have something moving as an owner -- someone move in as an owner.
there also thinking about a so-called panic button set of rent was a rising fast you could discount them. needless to say -- kelly: developers and landlords love this. [laughter] whond the pension funds fund a lot of new construction are saying no, land prices are , costs are going up, if you are going to start shrinking our margin, which is already getting smaller. kelly: online at businessweek.com, more and more coastal homes are becoming vulnerable to extreme weather events that come along with climate change. jason: the cost of living in these luxury homes has stayed relatively stable. our reporter has the story. >> extreme climate events are increasing in frequency and severity across the united states and the world. the issue is that in the united states, insurance premiums are staying stable, which does not
seem correlated to the increased level of risk. jason: what accounts for this? >> on a federal level, it is about politics. note he wants to be the person who says we are raising premiums along both coasts. there is zero political will. as a consequence, you have farmers in nebraska subsidizing people with speech as in new jersey. jason: this is a really appealing investment to let the insurance side of this. correlationlittle to financial markets and extreme weather events. have basically used the insurance industry for disaster risk as a hedge against financial markets globally. in, partjust resulted of the pot, a flood of capital entering the market. it has made it extremely cheap and disincentivize a lot of
providers from accurately pricing risk, because it is not their money. jason: people do not necessarily think of these as investment, they think of them as jewelry, a luxury item at the highest level. >> absolutely right. that said, i don't think anyone buys a luxury item thinking it will depreciate in value by 30 or 40%. larger that's the much implication of this entire issue is that it could have a tremendous impact on home ifership and home values insurance companies are gradually raising the prices of premiums. , there will be a feeling with the cost of ownership will become prohibitive. when it does, that will ding and, often times, cause real
estate markets to even collapse. jason: before we get to the collapse, we should also talk about this idea that it is a different story when you think about places like louisiana or less affluent places. >> excellent point, this is where it becomes a federal issue. if an investment banker loses his beach house, that's not good for anyone, but it is not devastating for him. if someone in a lower income household loses their place of residence, they can't go somewhere else, they don't have the money or job prospects to go somewhere else oftentimes. you are looking at the potential for once insurance risk becomes more accurate, you are looking at the potential for federally funded mass migration, really. where someone has to pick up the creases and it will not be the private sector. why artists and musicians
♪ jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." kelly: still ahead, how willing are you to take risk? jason: and the challenge of predicting the next downturn. kelly: we start in the features section, this pipeline billionaire may be missing the days of anonymous profit-making. jason: he is the ceo of a company called energy transfer,
best known for its controversial dakota access pipeline. kelly: recently, he is been on the defensive, taken to court by unhappy investors. , ceo and warren chairman of energy transfer. basically, it is part of this whole corporate empire. there were energy transfer partners, equity, a subsidiary. they combined a bunch of stuff and now they are just energy transfer. basically, a lot of generically named companies, pipelines, underground, what's in them? kelly: what do they do? nobody.was happy that you can make a lot of money, and basically he became one of the world's richest men. at the height of the oil boom 2-3 years ago. carol: he built a lot of
pipelines, right? >> the thing is that a lot of the business was in texas, oklahoma, places like that. hey, come on. that's our industry, part of our local fabric. but then as the shale revolution took off and they were finding gas and oil in places like pennsylvania, ohio, and north dakota, he started building up their. -- there. it makes sense, there are not enough pipelines. carol: north easterners are cranky. [laughter] >> i guess you could say he ran into some cranky people in north dakota, and all of a sudden, the business was not so much fun. carol: why are you writing about this guy now? one of his arguments has been that we are doing nothing wrong, our problems are being caused by environmentalists who don't like
us can they want to keep oil and gas in the ground. for climate change reasons. you know, they're just making up all the stuff, spreading misinformation. energy transfer literally filed a federal racketeering suit against greenpeace and a bunch of environmentalists, saying is that. -- just about. -- just that. the problem is that they move in other states, the people pushing back are not environmentalists. carol: landowners, homeowners, right? >> and environmental officials in states like ohio which are controlled by republicans in pennsylvania, where they have been very supportive. you know, the whole shale boom. and as you say, homeowners, and right now, they're facing multiple criminal investigations
from republican da's. all being cooked up by a bunch of greenies, that's as much or. -- just not true. looking at why professional economists have such a dismal record forecasting recession. >> it is not easy, that is the first thing to say. it is easy to laugh at economists for missing recessions or forecasting ones that never occur, but if you think about weather forecasts which have improved so much, much better data. you have a big advantage when you are forecasting data, which is that the molecules of air do not watch television to see what meteorologists are saying, where as investors and consumers do. carol: a lot of being can't -- a lot of content being pushed. >> you get this feedback between
what people think is going to happen, what others think will happen, it is vastly complicates the job. carol: there is an interesting stat. federal consulting group tell us what they found. this consulting firm found this, and out of 468 recessions since 1988, they look at how the international monetary fund did in predicting them. the spring in the year before the recession hit, they found predicted.ere when you get to the spring of the year and the recession 111, so hits, they got still less than one quarter of them. not a great track record. carol: and it is not just imf.
those forecasts will often come out and it's like yeah, ok. fine organization, just like anyone else. they looked at private forecasters and they found the private forecasters did not do any better. carol: let's not forget the great recession. -- howpeople missed it many people missed it? >> there were people who saw a recession coming, but i would venture to say that even amongst those who saw it coming, if you had any idea how bad it would be, it was the worst since the 1930's. that was just not in the cards for most forecasters. it.l: there is a lack to -- lag to it. >> you can't tell what's happening, and when data comes in, it comes in with a lag. you have a phenomenon that a recession can because but something happening in the
financial markets. a panic and stocks suddenly fall, that can affect the real economy and reducing confidence or making them feel less wealthy. i think we would all agree that panics are hard to forecast. if the panic is causing recession, the recession is hard to forecast. jason: the favorite parlor game of economist, our favorite, taylor riggs is here with her own look on forecasting. is a difficult job, and if you come over here, i made a pie chart. the key number is 194 countries that sovereign recessions, only 108 were not predicted in the imf world economic outlook. that is a really big number. people are saying that economists, unlike portfolio managers, don't have the money where their mouth is, so it is easier to go along with groupthink and there is not\ --
jason: welcome back to "bloomberg businessweek." carol: join us for bloomberg businessweek every day on the radio from two-5 p.m. austria time. you can also -- wall street time. you can also catch up on our podcast. jason: or find us online or through our mobile app. carol: japan is at a crossroads as the country gets ready for a royal succession. jason: while no longer a rising superpower, it is pioneering the way a wealthy nation ages. >> japan is this rare island of
stability right now. -- some incomen inequality but nothing on the scale of the u.s.. they do not have these deep class resentments we have seen in this cultural divide between coastal america and the internal parts of the country. they don't have a brexit drama that goes to the very heart of what kind of country they are going to be. they don't have the yellow vests worker protests we're seeing in france. it is a pretty stable place. i think a big part of that, there are maybe two broad reasons. one is that a middle-class japanese family can do ok, even with all of the challenges that the country has -- carol: health care, education, they have access. not relativelys open up, it is a largely homogenous society.
that is something that is changing, how they have been quietly overhauling their visa program and that the foreign worker population has gone up dramatic of the last five years. carol: especially with the aging population. they have also embraced robotics and artificial intelligence. but they got here and elsewhere that people are fearful of that. robots taking over the world. >> japan is a highly robots-integrated economy. the 70's withk in industrial robots in the automation of manufacturing. but it has gone way beyond that now. you are starting to see service robots in health-care settings. you can go into a high-end department store in tokyo and be met, greeted by a robust. -- a robot. narita, you will
see exoskeleton contraptions that are allowing older workers to lift heavy loads and things like that. they are embrace of automation of automationce and robotics is different than what we're seeing elsewhere. carol: is there a lesson to be learned? they have dealt with sony problems the rest of the world is now facing. i think they are embrace of automation, ai, robotics, is going to be a very interesting thing to watch. can japan figure out a way to keep productivity levels from collapsing? to keep their economy growing in the face of such a demographic collapse? ,f you look at the numbers nearly 500,000 people last year, the population decreased by that magnitude. it is extraordinary.
and there are projections that a society of 127 million people could be roughly 100 million by the middle of the century. the code on crack that through a mixture of high-speed automation, more enlightened immigration, that will be something the rest of the world is going to watch. jason: speaking of japan, let's go to pursuits, the section has a guide kyoto -- to kyoto. carol: we got the details. >> everybody right now is thinking about cherry blossoms in japan and kyoto is the place you go to see that, it can be quite a mob scene. wanted to focus on when the cherry blossoms pass about what do you do in kyoto? for a lot of reasons, because there is a new hotel opening up, a great creative community, and
because it has a great history, there's actually a con going on. , it may be -- 800 on the most exciting city in japan. carol: everybody is focusing on the upcoming olympics in tokyo, but where should i go, what should i do? >> you should stay in a fancy hotel. the park hyatt, very famous in tokyo, is opening their. -- there. carol: $2000 a night in him on, right? >> yeah. and there these crazy restaurants with a meal and a set order of dishes, very traditional. but there are these great restaurants that are experimenting with it. there is this one restaurant, which is hard to say, where takes the whole meal and puts it on one platter. we got a great picture of it in the magazine. carol: it is gorgeous.
>> there is one called monk where it messes with tradition and puts like pizza in it. and then he should deftly check out some of the cultural stuff, there is a photo festival called yotography. there are distilleries, also to the settings of -- all sorts of exciting stuff. carol: tell me about the distillery. >> whiskey, japanese whiskey is a huge thing, and there is sake. and then there is this premium gin. jen is kind of becoming a hot drink their, it is an a lot of new cocktail bars. us, it's easy to get in and out. it's funny, because we take the cities for granted, but they do get a reboot, right? ityeah, and i think because
has such an amazing history and is so picturesque with the temples and historic districts, people really don't think about what is fresh. and in addition to the amazing history, that is really the reason to go right now. how to win over directors and shareholders from your first day at the office. jason: and the queen of food journalism is out with a new memoir and begin at a taste test. carol: this is "bloomberg businessweek."
in the strategies section, helpful articles about how to take risks that grow your company. important why it is to prove yourself from your first day on the job. >> companies are complex these days. they are different, running them is different, how you hire people, groom people, they have a very short timeline to prove themselves. social media puts pressure, all kinds of media puts pressure. and then how we consume technology, like think about technicals -- about the tools people use. you can make your life kind of crazy, right? we were taking a deeper dive into it indication in the section and trying to offer people really meaningful advice and information about how to go forward in their leadership roles, whether you are a ceo, senior-level manager, that is
what we're trying to do. carol: that's great. i thought it was a fascinating stat. 25 percent400 ceos, more left their jobs then back in the financial crisis. >> there is a lot of rotation, that door is revolting. and that is -- revolving. that is the story that looks like you have a short timeline to prove yourself. have you go in there, establish priorities, establish your mode of communication, be open, manage expectations so people understand your goals, attach a timeline to it. shareholders really get the idea of three-month increments. that is one peace of advice. carol: don't overcommit. >> be realistic, because the
pressure is on. and you have sony different populations of people looking to you to prove yourself. carol: there is another story talking that something between lunatic risk-taking and paralyzing risk aversion sits a sweet spot. >> people think that the thing aversion is that risk can be a problem as well. we headlined it as "don't play it too safe." when you need in this, located world of leading a company is the ability to really balance things in a measure. so many things factor into that. your personality, which ceos tend to have personality types where they are very certain of themselves, very sure, but not across the board is everybody that absurd of -- assertive.
yourselves but measure it in a way that you are about? -- you are balanced? it is a tricky line to toe. and we think that ceos will do what they will do, but that is not always the case. that was a fun. -- fun one. there is a lot of research from many different realms in science and health. our writer really dug deep into to putious studies together a very interesting and useful look at, basically, how to be a better risk taker. leaders, weing of reviewed a new memoir from a leader in the food business. -- talking about this famous magazine editor. >> she really ruled the roost, queen of food for such a long time. was the restaurant critic at
the new york times of people worship her, she wore disguises, she blew things up. carol: did she really? there are probably a generation of folks out there who do not know who she is or how she changed looking at food. give us that history. really was, it was so fun to read her book. she was a bit of julia child and chrissy teigen, she knew the score. she knew how to make food accessible and how to communicate in a real-life way. she came to gourmet in the late 90's when it really was a magazine that you had to have two houses and horses, at least two houses. was very dull, very conservative. the rest the have like six parts, he would make a cake and feed it to your horses. and even then, there was sort of an audience for it. she sighed opening to make it a
dynamic, of the moment magazine, and she did. carol: tells about this book. >> it is called "save me the a memoir about the next and going down the drain because of things out of her control. carol: you read the book, tell me about it. >> i love it, it was like walking around with my best friend. but it was an amazing insight into what is happening in journalism. time, when you think back to september, that magazine was bigger than the bible. all of the brands, all of the magazine's work phenomenal. carol: vanity fair. >> exactly, but magazine, all magazine,n -- vogue
all the fashion, but gourmet was primarily the food magazine. it was a time when ever but he took a black card to lunch, -- black cars to lunch. carol: conspicuous consumption. anything you didn't like about the book? >> personally, i wish there was more about the magazine. talked about the struggle of being a working mom, going on book tour, a demanding job. which is timely and good, but i wanted even more about what is going on in the magazine. she change the gourmet font, and that was a huge deal. in the publishing world, that was a huge deal. i wanted more of that, wanted it to be longer. she is always right. [laughter] carol: ruth is always right. >> and it's like, really? but it is like having an insider
, in the food world, the equivalent of the financial crisis. carol: bloomberg businessweek is available on newsstands. now. jason: what is a must read? -- your must-read? carol: the hospital chain in this dr. rethinking an assembly line way of doing surgeries and has been able to bring costs down. everybody around the globe will be watching what he is doing. jason: and big challenges ahead , but you look at the numbers and think like that happen everywhere? carol: yours? jason: i love the international cover story about meitaun because it reminds us that china is so much further ahead than the rest of the world and how they are using technology in their everyday lives. carol: you can find more stories online over the weekend. jason: and check out our
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